Veteran MMA star Chuck Liddell has revealed he will come out of retirement to fight this year, cuing a reaction from Jon Jones.
Liddell, a former UFC light-heavyweight champion, last fought in 2010 but told The MMA Hour on Monday that he misses the fight game and wants to return, targeting a fight with long-time roval Tito Ortiz.
Given his long time service to MMA, Liddell – who first competed at UFC 17 in 1998 – was given a lifetime executive role at the UFC upon retirement. However, the role was dissolved after the brand was sold to WME-IMG in 2016.
“I will fight again,” said the 48-year-old.
“It does not hinge on Tito’s participation. I miss it. I never stopped missing it. And I kinda hadn’t really thought about it much. And then when he brought it up and we started getting going, and I started training and I started doing stuff again, getting ready to try to take this on, it made me go, ‘You know what, what if he pulls out? Am I not going to fight? Am I going to do all of this and not fight?’ Oh no, we had to have somebody backing up, and if it doesn’t work out with him, I’m [still] going to give it a shot.
“It’ll be somebody else, one of the guys from my past probably, most likely, and we’ll see where I’m at.”
The return of the “The Iceman” has sparked the interest of fellow former light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who launched a few jabs at Liddell on twitter.
Old Chuck has been calling me out for years! I get it, I hold pretty much every record in the division. I normally try to respect my elders but if you want it come get it. Id literally fly you out to Albuquerque this weekend.
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 14, 2018
In all seriousness @ChuckLiddell I appreciate your offer for a fight, but due to scheduling conflicts may not be able to fulfill till mid 2019 .
In the Upcoming months I have similarly lethal opponents in Ric Flair and George Foreman awaiting .
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 15, 2018